Brazil has struggled with infant mortality rates in recent times, a common problem in developing countries. The infant mortality rate in 1990 was reported as 58 deaths per every 1,000 live births, according to UNICEF. This rate has dramatically improved since then, with 16 deaths per every 1,000 births in 2011. Brazil was able to improve the infant mortality rate by implementing various community health programs and family health initiatives, improving sanitation and providing better maternal education. While Brazil has been effective in addressing the issue, child mortality still remains a problem that affects many, particularly in rural areas.
A lack of doctors in rural areas mean long waits and overcrowded emergency rooms. While there is a state healthcare system, much of Brazil’s investment in this area comes from private entities. Private health care provides better care, but it is a luxury people living in rural areas cannot afford. Medical facilities in these areas are not profitable, resulting in poor access to health care for many. ChildFund’s efforts in Brazil focus on training community volunteers to educate families on reproductive health, child development and children’s nutrition and health.